Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals.Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
Today, as I pondered our current political climate and rhetoric, I decided to look up verses on Hope. One of the verses that popped up was John 5:6, “Do you want to get well?”
That’s the question for our nation, isn’t it?
DO WE WANT TO GET WELL?
As a nation, we have been in a “condition” for a long time. We are are lame, blind, and paralyzed by fear and sin. We hate those that disagree with us. We complain and shout about the sins others, but refuse to take responsibility for our own failings and hate infused actions. We disregard human life, the yet unborn and the fully living, treating our fellow human as disposable, less than, and as property to be bought and sold.
No one but Jesus could help the man in John 5 — and the same is true for our country. We look to politicians to “save” us from the mess we have created for ourselves, when we need to repent and seek the face of God.
He alone can save, yet as a nation, we refuse to call on the one who raises the dead – and instead settle into tombs of our own design, becoming comfortable wrapped in the stench of death.
What then, shall we do?
Christians have been given the task of loving as Christ loves, but we have chosen to love our own agendas more than the command that Jesus gave us. We point fingers. We yell. We shout. We disregard the example of Christ in our quest to “convince” others that we love God. Jesus is clear —
“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” — John 13: 34-35
We, as a nation, need to repent, seek God’s face, His forgiveness, His guidance, His vision and love for His creation… all of His creation.
We must refuse to allow fear and anger to replace Faith.
We must refuse to allow fear and anger to replace Hope.
We must refuse to allow fear and anger to replace Love.
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. T
“This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” yet doesn’t keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected.[a] This is how we know we are in Him: 6 The one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.”
Now that is something to ponder.
I had the opportunity to visit Carowinds with my sweet kiddos and combined fantastic church youth groups today. The first place some of us checked out was the Dinosaurs Alive exhibit. I was intrigued by the representation of these giant animals… and also by the marketing genius of the signs throughout. Thus,
today’s poem was inspired by the signs you see below.
DO NOT FEED THE DINOSAURS by Donna Earnhardt
Do not feed the Dinosaurs.
Not in ANY event.
You’ll wonder how they ate so fast…
and where your fingers went.
Do not RIDE the Dinosaurs.
Saddles hurt their backs.
They’ll buck you off and you’ll end up…
as gooey Dino-snacks.
My poem for Saturday (two days late) is inspired by the Word-of-the-Month prompt over on David L. Harrison’s page. The word is ESCAPE. Anyone can participate. Just use the word ESCAPE (this month’s word) and post it in the comments. It’s a great way to get the creative juices flowing! https://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/adult-word-of-the-month-poem/#comment-31364
My poem is in the form of an acrostic:
Every day – moments
Sliced into 24 sections and I
Count them, giggle by giggle, dream by dream
Alarm bells ring, reminding me that I can’t
Pause the clock… tick-tock, tick-tock…
Every day – moments
Sadly, we can’t stop or escape the clock… but we can decide to live every moment to it’s fullest and be thankful for the time we are given! If you decide to write a poem with the word ESCAPE, share it here or over on David’s site.
After 20 years of long-ish hairstyles…
Yup. I got it all cut off and I love it!
My hair has a lot of texture, and it has a mind of it’s own. So when I only get it cut twice a year, my hair becomes so bogged down and heavy that I can’t do anything with it. UGH.
When it is shorter and layered, it has room to move, breathe and bounce! I still can’t necessarily tame it… but that’s okay. My hair has LIFE again!
But what about the rest of me? My heart? My mind? My soul?
If I don’t take the time to take care of those things, I run the risk of getting bogged down with the narratives in my own brain and the crud of life. The negative images and thoughts can crowd out the joy… the abundant life…. that God wants me to enjoy.
I’ve got to let God prune out those things that are not of Him. John 15:1-5 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.“
Let me be real — even though I love that verse, it’s hard for me to chew. I don’t like the idea of stuff being pruned out of me. Getting my hair cut doesn’t hurt at all. But this sounds painful. Really painful.
The good news? Jesus says, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.”
In other words — He’ll do the pruning. He’ll cut out the stuff that’s been eating away at my joy. He’ll be the one that gives me rest, even while he’s taking off the layers that bog me down, make my heart heavy and keep me from living life to the fullest.
So why did I write this blog post? Cause I never knew getting a new haircut would bring me such a heart-blessing. And much like my mama’s cakes, blessings are always better when shared!
With apologies to Laura Numeroff…
When you give a girl a sassy new ‘do,
she’ll want to write a blog post about it…
My daughter created a book trailer for Being Frank. I hope you’ll hop over and see what she did! Being Frank Book Trailer
“When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.” — Proverbs 10:19
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry… James 1:19
Like Daniel I need protection–
when life is going south.
Lord, save me, like you saved Daniel…
but save me from my OWN mouth!
If you’ve ever felt like Daniel in the lions’ den, you’re not alone. Most of us have felt that way at some time in our lives. And just as God protected Daniel, He protects us.
But have you ever found yourself acting less like Daniel… and more like the lions? Roaring? Snapping? In an overall catty mood?
Yup. Not gonna lie. Been there, done that, too.
Let me be real… that’s when I need God to SHUT MY MOUTH.
How ’bout you?
If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (NIV)
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
keep watch over the door of my lips! (ESV)
Because April is National Poetry Month, prepare yourself for an influx of verse on my blog for the next few weeks. I’ve even come up with a nom de plume for my fun poetry.And yes, it’s corny. What did you expect?
Super Pits: A Cautionary Tale
by Steen Kee Mi (I told you it was corny)
April showers every day.
But sometimes… skips her armpits.
When she forgets, she levels towns —
and decimates her outfits.
Her mama sighs and says,
“My dear, your pits are full of power!
For the love of all that’s good…
use soap suds when you shower!”